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June 15, 2018, 12:06 p.m.
Business Models
LINK: inn.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Marlee Baldridge   |   June 15, 2018

The Institute for Nonprofit News held its annual conference in Orlando, Florida, this week and featured two days of speakers trying to share valuable knowledge: how to make money in nonprofit news.

The need to find sustainable business practices in nonprofit organizations is just as important as it is for everyone else in journalism. INN began as a group of 27 journalists working at nonprofits in 2009, who formed a network of shared knowledge on how news publishers can make smart business decisions and improve on public service journalism.

This conference was funded by the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Knight Foundation (which is also a funder of Nieman Lab). It brought in speakers from WordPress, ProPublica, The Trace, and Mother Jones (and two speakers from my alma mater the University of Missouri). Topics over the two-day sprint covered everything from fundraising to storytelling techniques, big ideas and little tips. Much of it was shared online via the hashtag #INNDays2018.

Sponsorships, of course, can only carry a publisher so far. Relating this back to content and producing a product that people will eventually pay for themselves is also important. Speakers discussed how to make human connections with stories that might otherwise seem too big of a sales pitch.

Journalists and managers came away with some know-how on reaching, and keeping, audiences. INN will still be active over the weekend, working with investigative journalists to sharpen their skills at the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference for 2018.

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